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09 May 2017

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Shrewsbury Ark

EVERY year personnel at Royal Air Force Shawbury are asked to nominate two charities for the station to concentrate their fundraising efforts throughout the year. In 2016 one of the two charities nominated was local charity The Shrewsbury Ark.

Last week The Officer Commanding Base Support Wing and Chairman of the Station Charities Committee at Royal Air Force Shawbury, Wing Commander Marcus Collinge visited the Shrewsbury Ark to present them with a cheque. At the presentation he said:

“Royal Air Force Shawbury is extremely proud of the support the station receives from the local community. It is always a pleasure to be able to return this support through the many community projects and fundraising charity events our personnel undertake throughout the year. In 2016 our personnel nominated the charity ‘The Shrewsbury Ark’ as one of two charities Royal Air Force Shawbury would support throughout the year. There were numerous events organised and supported by all of our personnel, contractors and families during the course of the year. On behalf of everyone at Royal Air Force Shawbury I am extremely pleased today that, due to their fundraising efforts I am able to present The Shrewsbury Ark with a cheque for £9,182.48 which will allow them to purchase and maintain their own vehicle safeguarding the provision of the HOST Service across Shropshire for the foreseeable future”.

As well as providing essential services for the homeless within Shrewsbury, The Shrewsbury Ark and other support agencies cover those in need across Shropshire though the HOST scheme. This is a multi-agency project comprising staff from West Mercia Police, The Shrewsbury Ark and Shropshire council, with support from partner agencies including Shropshire Recovery Partnership, Community Mental Health Team, Shrewsbury Street Pastors and members of Team Shrewsbury. Since its launch, some 60+ individuals have been supported, and numbers of rough sleepers across Shropshire have reduced from in excess of 30 last summer, to 6 in February of this year.

Key to the success has been the ability to respond quickly and effectively to reports of rough sleepers wherever they may be in the county, and to identify and implement the appropriate support and referrals for their needs. This has been aided by the use of designated vehicle, which from October to April was provided on a lease by West Mercia Police. As the scheme has been extended, funding from the Police and this donation from RAF Shawbury has enabled the Ark to purchase their own vehicle, so that this valuable support can continue.

Tim Compton, Manager of the Shrewsbury Ark said "We are delighted to have been able to purchase a designated vehicle, available for any of the key partner agencies to use in providing support to help those sleeping rough in our community. We are very grateful to Royal Air Force Shawbury for this donation which will allow us to provide this essential care and support throughout Shropshire"

Pictured presenting the cheque to Mr Howard Hutchings Chairman of the Shrewsbury Ark is, from Royal Air Force Shawbury, Warrant Officer Martin Jones, Service Community Support Officer and Wing Commander Marcus Collinge Officer Commanding Base Support Wing.

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